home comfort zone

Household Help: An Extra Pair of Hands Lend A Healthier Well-Being

By on November 14, 2013


Doing all the household chores by yourself can take a toll on your body. For some, being overwhelmed by all the household chores on top of all the other things they have to do for the family and for work can also affect their general mental disposition. It is common for the members of the family to be expected to pitch in with these chores. But, this is not always possible especially when you have younger kids – taking care of your kids should actually be the focus of your energies. Before you know it, you could be pulling your hair in frustration about the hodge-podge of things on your to-do list.

cleaningIn some countries like the Philippines, having household help is a given even for those in the middle income brackets. Extended family members are also often around to take care of specific chores on a regular basis. Miles away from the country I grew up in, the benefits of having an extra pair of hands to help around the house do not change. I must admit that there are a lot of things on my plate, and yes, I do need help. Now, if you’re a mom like me, you most probably have a lot to handle too. Well, here are some of the benefits that you might want to consider in having household help:

1. More quality time for the family. This is quite obvious. When you have somebody else doing your chores for you, you have more time to spend with your spouse and kids. Instead of being cranky and tired from cooking the food and doing the dishes, you have the time and energy to have a quick after-dinner board game with the kids.

2. Less worries about getting things done around the house. When you know that someone is taking care of things at home, you can concentrate on all the other things that you have to do. You have to, however, find a reliable household help that you can trust to do things the way you want them done, when you want them done. You do not have to hurry home from work just to get dinner on the table on time.

3. Clean house, all the time. You can’t help but have toys, books, and what-nots scattered around the house when you have young kids. With a reliable household help, you can at least expect someone to pick up and keep things in order. You will not have to settle for the cursory dusting of your exposed surfaces. You will not have to let the dishes wait for a few minutes while you whisk the kids off to bed. Your help should be able to take care of the clean up while you take care of the things that matter most in your life.

Having an extra pair of hands at home is not just a mere indulgence for the woman of the house who is expected to be wife, mother, and housekeeper all at once. With household help around, she can be more efficient in fulfilling those roles without being overcome by stress.

Agree? Show of hands please or leave a comment.

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home comfort zone

Fall Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning

By on October 1, 2013


Spring is no longer the lone season for keeping the house in spic and span condition. Fall cleaning is becoming quite common in the northern hemisphere as those who were not able to finish their cleaning and home maintenance tasks in spring complete them in fall (sometimes throughout the summer). Doing extra cleaning during fall removes traces of summer dust and preps the house for the cold winter months. It is also a good opportunity to check on home equipment and furnishings that will help keep the indoors warm and cozy throughout the winter.

cleaning autumn, fall cleaning
leaves! (beside our building)

Here are some fall cleaning tips that can help you cover everything or at least the essential tasks in getting the house ready for winter:

1.     Start from top to bottom, out to in. It will be difficult to work on the roof and outdoors during the cold winter months so even before the cold and snow sets in. Check and clean the gutters, windows, sills, walls, doors, and railings. Once the tasks for the exterior of the house is done then you can start working on cleaning the indoors. You need not buy new stuff to achieve that  luxury interior design look for your home, you just need to keep things neat.

2.     Secure outdoor furniture and equipment. Those who brought out some furnishings in their patio or yard for spring and summer may want to bring them back inside the house where they can be protected from the harsh winter weather. Make sure that garden hoses and sprinkler systems are free from water and cover air conditioning units to protect them from snow.

3.     Check essential appliances and fixtures and get them in tip top shape. Fireplaces or furnaces, chimneys, heaters and insulation should be among the priority as they provide warmth inside the house. You may follow suit with vents or exhaust fans, lighting, washing machine, refrigerator, ovens and other appliances if you still have time.

4.    Clean thoroughly. Suck out all the dust and dirt around the house by vacuuming drapes, furniture, and even appliances. Aside from removing possible allergens, it also helps create a brighter and cozier atmosphere in any room. Also wash, linens, beddings, comforters, blankets, and everything that will get you a nice and warm nook to rest in during the night.

5.     Stock-up on Supplies. One can never tell when one is going to be cooped up in the house because of bad weather. Make sure that you have ample emergency supplies and food around in case you need them.

autumn, fall cleaning
image via http://www.decoradvisor.net by Wing Wong


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home comfort zone

Choosing the Right Self Storage Unit

By on August 11, 2013


Spring cleaning, even summer clean-ups, could be difficult if there’s not enough space to store stuff not needed for the season. While it’s okay to throw away excesses, there are still a lot of things you can use after a year – for example: your favorite cowboy boots, your favorite leather jacket and that comfort blanket you had for years. And while your cellar may be a good option, the temperature, humidity and whatnots can cause rust, mildew and other unwanted damage on stored items. Building a shed is also a good way to store items but if you are a family that often moves, there’s one brilliant solution…self storage. And it has proved to be a good solution to many.

self storage units
indoor storage

Self storage businesses offers rented space – could be lockers, rooms, containers and other spaces where tenants can temporarily store their belongings (big and small) on a monthly basis. That could be household and business items. Storage units tend to differ in sizes, the smallest being  10×5 (10 feet wide by 5 feet). The services offered by such companies vary – short-term or long-term storage, a choice between a just storage pods or moving pods, outdoor or indoor options are some that customers can choose from.

So how do you get to choose the right storage unit for you? Read on.

1. Plan. Is it going to be a long-term or a short-term lease? If it’s a long-term one, choose a bigger storage where you can add some more stuff the following year. That way, you don’t pay double the space and you can add items to store, any time!

2. Inventory. Make a list of all the items you will store.

3. Weigh and Measure. Knowing how much space the items will take should help you determine which size of storage to rent.

4. Stack ’em up.  Try stacking them up, or piling them on top of each other and see how much space they would eat. Consider putting spaces for ventilation – and perhaps an aisle, so you can easily walk up and find things when you suddenly  need them. (You’ll never know when.)

5. Scout. Visit a facility nearest you, it is usually easy to find out if  Colorado Springs has storage units or if San Francisco offers cheap storage rentals with a simple online search. Seeing the actual unit will help you in deciding the size of the unit you’d rent. Also, the staff would be sure to help you out.

Space is indeed a valuable asset. And because we are a society of hoarders (admit it!) and sentimental fools, there were always be too much stuff we will hold on to and keep. It is also quite a taxing thing to throw away or decide which things should be in the bin. So for now, while you still want to hold on to the memories, a storage unit would prove beneficial, be it spring, summer, even winter or fall.


outdoor storage

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home comfort zone

Dimmers as Eco-friendly and Economical Lighting Partners

By on May 28, 2013


Practical homemakers are often on the lookout for ways to save on household expenses. Some of these cost-saving measures come in obvious forms like discounts, promos, and coupons or vouchers, but there are some that require a bit of knowledge on the latest technology and an open mind to shell out a bit of cash. A good example of this is the use of energy saving tools to cut down on electricity costs in the household. Homemakers can ease their way into an eco-friendly and economical way of decreasing their energy consumption by making use of dimmers in some of their rooms.

dim light
image via http://www.besthomedesigns.org/

Traditional light switches operate on a simple “on” and “off” function only. Dimmers or dimmer switches allow users to adjust the lighting levels in the room according to their needs. This also means that household members can adjust their energy consumption in a room and save on electricity by using lower light levels. A household can save at least 5-9% on their energy consumption through the use of dimmers. It can be installed in the bedroom, living room, hallways or dining room where lights are often needed. Lighting in these areas can be set at their lowest levels when there is still natural light available. At night time, light levels can be adjusted at around mid levels or at a range that is just enough to illuminate these rooms and minimize the use of bulbs at 100% energy levels. Aside from saving on electricity, dimmers can also help extend the life of your bulbs as much as 20x compared to bulbs that utilize traditional switches. However, those who intend to have dimmers installed in their homes should check for bulb specifications. There are dimmers that require dimmable CFL bulbs for optimum use.

Homemakers can take a pro-active approach in decreasing the energy consumption in their household by utilizing energy saving partners like dimmers. This will enable them to enjoy long term savings benefits on household expenses and contribute in saving the environment by adopting eco-friendly practices.

less lights
image via http://yololighting.com/

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home comfort zone

On Hidden Doors and Secret Passages

By on May 22, 2013

When you hear about hidden doors and secret passages, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? You probably think about castles with bookcases or walls that fall apart to reveal an entryway into a secret passage. The secret passage, in turn, leads to several other narrow passages that lead to different floors of the castle. Apparently, most of treasures and riches of a castle’s occupants are stashed in these secret passages, away from prying eyes and malicious minds. In most cases, these secret passages can also lead to escape routes where the king or someone from royalty can safely flee when enemies besiege the castle.

hidden door
secret room – image via http://www.electronichouse.com/

These days, though, people practically beg architects and interior designers to incorporate hidden doors and secret passages into their homes’ design. They ask for these not because they plan to stash their millions there but because these secret passages can serve a practical purpose in their homes.

One of the main reasons why a homeowner would want to install hidden doors and secret passages in his house is to maximize space. Sometimes, even if a house plan was drawn perfectly with all bases covered, an empty space manages to turn up eventually. Rather than dump furniture here or let the space collect dust, a savvy interior designer can design a bookcase to cover that area. If the space is large enough, it may be converted into a storeroom, with the bookcase doubling as a hidden door. You don’t only get to have a bookcase but you also get extra space in which to store some of your unused stuff.

In your library, an entire wall of bookcases can double as sliding, hidden doors that lead to your game room, TV room, bathroom, or even a small bedroom where you can rest on days when you need to work long hours.

In the bedroom, you can ask your architect or designer to install a fireplace. Depending on your preference, the fireplace can be functional or non-functional. If you decide to make it a decorative fireplace only, meaning non-functional, you can have your architect fashion a secret door on the inner wall that opens up to your safe. That’s a brilliant way of keeping your valuables like jewelry and other important documents safe.

If you’re creative enough, you could ask your architect to create a secret passage from your bedroom to the kitchen. That’s like having your very own “access road” for nights when you want to fix yourself a midnight snack. Secret passages and corridors are also useful in connecting several rooms of your house like the library, den, or even your backyard.

All it takes is creativity, imagination, and a good architect or interior designer to create hidden doors and secret passages in your home.

bookcase door! <3

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